Family Dynamics in Gravity Falls [OWLS August Blog Tour: Bloodlines]

Everyone has their own experience with and definition of family –some positive, some negative. In the media, however, we often only see certain portrayals such as a positive family with one mom, one dad, and children, or a broken family who all work together to change their ways in the end. In his hit animated series Gravity Falls, Alex Hirsch tackles the complicated issues that shape families and addresses the fact that not all families are ideal, but that doesn't make them bad...

Tropes: When You’re Fairly Certain You’ve Seen These Odd Parents Before

Anybody that watches cartoons or anime is familiar with today's topic: the trope. Tropes act as a visual way for the creator of a work to quickly and easily convey a concept to their audience. They can take many forms-- a figure of speech, a character type, a plot device, a location or location type, a pattern of storytelling, a sub-plot. If you've seen the concept before, it is most likely a trope. Let's take a look at a few examples of tropes found in Butch Hartman's The Fairly Odd Parents.

Eight Literary Allusions in Cartoons: Celebrating National Book Lover’s Day

It's National Book Lover's Day, an official-unofficial holiday celebrating literacy and books. People often mistakenly believe that real readers only read novels, especially the literary classics such as The Scarlet Letter or Oliver Twist. That's not strictly true. Whether you read comics or novels, literary classics or fantasy, you are a reader. Books have been … Continue reading Eight Literary Allusions in Cartoons: Celebrating National Book Lover’s Day

Pride in Pop Culture: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Visibility(Part 4)

Tisibility matters, and can make a huge difference in a person’s understanding and acceptance of themselves as well as positive cultural shifts in how people perceive the LGBTQ+ community. Media representation can act as a double-edged sword, having positive or negative effects on a marginalized community depending on how the creator uses it. In honor of Pride Month and to celebrate...

Pop Culture and LGBTQ+ Visibility (Part 2)

One of the biggest concerns for the LGBTQ+ community involves visibility and positive representation in the media. Wider representation benefits the movement, as well as allowing individual members of the community (especially youth) to see themselves portrayed positively in the world around...

Framed Stories: Fiction Inside Fiction with Adventure Time and Ponys

If every author followed the exact same formula for crafting stories, their readers would languish in boredom! Creators constantly combine different storytelling techniques and literary devices in order to make their works shine amid a sea of...

Symbolism Bonus: Rise of the Guardians

While discussing Over the Garden Wall, we took a look at a few specialized symbols from the show. I know that symbolism can take a few tries to understand, so I wrote this as a follow-up to explore a specialized symbol in another work. Let’s take a look at Rise of the Guardians...

Symbolism in Over the Garden Wall

One of the fastest ways to kill someone’s interest in a tough topic like symbolism is to set them up with a novel they end up hating. So instead, let’s explore this element through pop culture in order to get a better understanding of it and how authors use it to ...